Secret Choices in Life

April 9, 2015

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There are only two choices
One is wisdom, one is folly
It’s a daily decision
It’s very simple
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This invitation
To choose the road you will take
You’re free to decide
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If you want to know just ask
Your Father’s glad to tell you
Is there anyone asking
You answer for you
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You can know which road
It is your freedom to choose
We all have been hurt
I’m no exception to this
We all get it in the neck
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There is a secret
To be found in both choices
They’re both inviting
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One will bring you understanding
Stolen water will taste sweet
Food that’s eaten in secret
Is so delicious
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This secret life leads to death
They don’t know the dead lay there
Folly’s guest will die quickly
And not remembered
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Understanding leads to life
Doing right adds to learning
Darkness of death is exposed
Years added to life
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Where do I begin
First, stand in awe of your God
Seek knowledge and good insight
God’s a real person
He knows my name and loves me
Even though I chose folly
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A promise I claim daily
God never forsakes those who seek
To know and find out the truth
About God and self
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Understanding comes
Love flourishes in secret
In stillness God comes
Embracing us in folly
Surprising us with real joy
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They’re no exceptions
In this world we will suffer
A reality
The world we build will shatter
The pressures are just too great
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Folly and wisdom
Which direction will you choose
You can medicate and die
Surrender and live
This love surpasses knowledge
Understanding will breathe life
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These reflections come after reading and meditating on Psalm 9 and Proverbs 9. I have a practice I do each day to tune my soul to the basic realities of life. I live my life in a day. “I number my days by one.” Bob Nelson   I practice the basic fundamentals of soul each day like a musician practices his instruments. I practice seeking understanding above all else or I find my soul deceived by my own pride, lust and greed that sit in the secret places inviting me to choose to feed their hunger. This daily practice of stillness has lead me to the secret place of joy where I have been surprised with an intimate friendship of Presence that is not based on my feelings. It is based on discovering what is true about the world, self, God and real friendship. Folly taste good in the moment. It leads to death. Understanding will breathe life. It leads to Joy.
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Proverbs has been my Father. Psalms has been my mother over the last 54 years.
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Proverbs 9:6 “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear (stand in reverent awe) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

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The Simple Truth

March 29, 2015

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There’s a simple truth
Hidden behind all the noise
We are born Beloved
This truth will always get lost
Because of the failure of man
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How to recover
That is my biggest question
I found the process
There are no easy answers
I now know where to begin
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Wounded souls cry out
The sick know that they need help
They are the ones who can hear
The desperate door
The one I avoided the most
Is the one that I walked through
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There are two commands
Love God, love one another
The secret is here
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We say we love God
I think we really mean it
There are two problems with this
The first: “Who is God?”
Second: “Who is my neighbor?”
Love them like you love yourself
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You cannot love God
If you do not love yourself
The place to begin
You must learn to love yourself
When all others forsake you
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There’s greatness in you
You are made in God’s image
You are wonderfully made
Beloved and cherished
You are larger than your pain
I learned this from my Teacher
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Others have forsaken me
My parents and friends left me
Talents, health, gifts failed me
That’s when love came
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Over the years of listening to thousands of stories of people searching for meaningful relationships, I found this one thing to be true. Until a person decides to accept their own greatness in the midst of the massive failure they feel from their own life and from how significant others have failed them, they will stay trapped in the darkness of desperation. There is a fire in the human soul that at some point will rise up and fight. It is my job, once a person decides to fight, to give those I meet the life tools I have discovered to build a “life that loves to happen no matter what happens.” History is full of lives that made this decision to live by walking through the doorway of desperation. The Master Truth I know to be true regardless of circumstances is this. “You are Beloved.”
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Proverbs 29:11; Psalms 59:17; 89:15; 89:26; 89:30-33
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http://www.coachinglifematters.com

Healing Process

February 26, 2015

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There is a healing process
For those aware of the wound
Who name the lie adopted
This deep soul cancer

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When a person is ready
Desperate for the healing
Then choose to fight for your life
And Renounce the lie
Revoke the insidious
Darkness with the light of life

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The Secret hidden
To be discovered by all
Who are seeking truth
You are the “Beloved of God”
Healed and made whole by this love*

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Replace the lie that’s hidden
Believe in the love that’s given
With all your heart, soul and mind
This mysterious joy

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This revelation of love
Made clear in your own story
Remembering the times
You arose above the pain
Finding greatness in your soul

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I choose to respond
Feed the Master Truth of Love
Daily focus on this light
Move with intention
Toward this pinhole of light
This inexpressible joy
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I know this process is true
I live it each day of life
Like a mirror I reflect
Unspeakable love
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At the heart is forgiveness
For myself and enemies
For my parents and dear friends
Who’re only human
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Yes, it is a choice
Feelings will not dominate
My heart is open
I’ll choose to respond daily
I’ll receive love and give it
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The death of these lies
Is a painful decision
The lies are so familiar
Only His love compels me
To trust love larger than me – (love demonstrated)
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This is a process of deliverance from myself. When man is at the center destruction follows. This does not need to be proven. Look at past history; look at the present; you can know the past will dictate the future unless man discovers the greatness of real love.
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That love must begin by training to love you so you will then know how to love others. Light the fire in your own soul by turning from the lies handed down to us from generations. When feelings dominate, death follows. When truth dominates freedom follows. Choose love and forgiveness and Joy follows.

My Desire

February 25, 2015

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As I prepare to enter the soul country of the lives broken by terror the Psalmist led me to write my response to these Psalms. 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Slow down and listen to the unseen voice of the Maker of the Heavens and the earth and get in touch with “Your Desire.”

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My desire is to bring you
My life, my soul, my passion
Show me and teach me your ways
Guide me in your truth

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You’re the healer of my soul
Lifted me out of the pit
Quenched my thirsty soul
In quiet I come

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When I am silent
I remember my failures
My weaknesses I ponder
I hunger for you
You receive me with kindness
Your mercies draw me to you

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When I draw near you
You always come with your joy
Incomprehensible love
Rooted in history
Promises that never fail

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I choose to believe
This revelation of love
Confronts us humans
Who wander in wilderness
Looking for the face of God

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I found the freedom
To live spontaneously
Meditate and consider
Accept my failures
And the failure of others
See through eyes of compassion

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it’s fun to be free
To know I have the freedom
To choose what makes sense
Many voices are calling
I found one I can trust

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The past affirms this
The present brings me His peace
The future I celebrate
Eyes opened by the Spirit
To see the unseen as the Real

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How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015

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The focus of the children
How beautiful and loving
Need direction from your word
Because you give life

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Love awakens us to joy
Arising each morning to pray
I will listen first then speak
Respond to the truth

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Truth always comes through kindness
Although at first it’s painful
To see the lies I live by
Keeps me in the darkness

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What are the lies that destroy
Do I really want to know
It’s painful to discover
My own false beliefs

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It takes courage to seek God
Not knowing what you will find
Can I believe He is real
Loves me as a son

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Such beauty among the young
Fresh, alive and full of love
Put your hand on the children
Trouble lies ahead

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We will focus on the joy
The promises and the friendship
Because there is certain hope
For those who believe

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I won’t live in fear
God promised, “I’ll be with you
Never leave or forsake you”
Courage will follow
When your love is much larger
Than all the trouble around

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I will set my mind
My heart and soul long for
The gift to live free
Focused on His greatest gift
His inexpressible love

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I was asked to speak this week by Lael Caldwell who leads a “Round Table of Business Men and Women” on the topic of “How Do You Set Your MInd?” I chose to share this message with the Woodmont Hills family yesterday. If you would like a copy you can email me at terrysmith5@comcast.net and I will give you the address where you can order it.

Last night I sat with Charlotte at a “Sweetheart Banquet” and was served and entertained by a group of amazing young people. The above reflections come out of listening and responding to yesterday’s experience and the reading of the Psalms this morning. Psalm 9 and 39 along with meditating on John 15:1-17 was the focus this morning.

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Setting my mind each day is absolutely the most important thing I do to take care of myself.

 

A Gentle Touch

February 7, 2015

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I take refuge in the Lord
As a child I came to him
In the night I sought his help
Alone and crying

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His gentle love came
In the silence tenderly
Her nurturing hands
Touched and held me with kindness
My grandmother knew how to care

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Lost her at seven
And other dear ones who cared
Hatred won the day
Trauma entered my pathway
Loss of love ones became real

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What can a child say
No words can explain the pain
There’s no one who hears me cry
Alone with my tears
I was held in the darkness
Looking back I can see it

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When I became big
I read this story of love
A gentle man came
His life attracted my soul
Compassion drew me to him

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The little boy remembers
In the night I found comfort
This mysterious love came
Gently held my soul

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I fell in love with Jesus
His kindness and compassion
Has healed my soul with wonder
Touched my soul with joy

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Fear and fretting blind
They will hide his compassion
Rob the soul of life
My God says, “Don’t be afraid!
I’ll not leave you desolate.”

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This friendship calls me
To not believe “in” Jesus
But believe Jesus
Present and counting my tears
With His promise to help me

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Every one has a story. I found that good reflection creates space to remember the past and look ahead to the future. I cannot define the future when my anxiety and fears keep me from seeing past the present. Whose words I trust when the trouble comes becomes my decision. I believe God is my friend and your friend. I will not allow my perception of him to be defined by the people who claim to be his followers or those who react to others perception. Religion fails and people fail. Looking back on the abandoned child the mystery of love showed up for me that is undeniable. I certainly can’t prove it nor can anyone disprove it. What the “trouble” did was caused me to get into a quest to know what is really true. Was the one who claimed “to give life and give it abundantly” a liar, crazy or telling the truth? I decided to be a seeker of what is real in this world and I found his teaching and the way he lived resonate with my deepest soul wound. I made it my aim fifty-four years ago to find out what makes sense in life because what happened to me as a child. I did not want the same thing to happen to my children. Psalms became my mother and Proverbs became my father. I found their words trustworthy and enlightening then and now!

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Psalm 37 prompted these thoughts this morning. All the best on your journey.

I Will Set My Mind

February 4, 2015

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I will set my mind
The freedom I have each day
A love without end
No one can fathom this love
You are beloved beyond words

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The Master Truth Speaks
You are His Beloved Child
A truth I am certain of
A free gift from God
This gift is for all people
The condition is “Believe”

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Yes, you have a part
To decide to receive it
To believe with all your heart
Engage your being
Heart, soul, mind and strength
I have been surprised by joy

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No one’s excluded
This treasure that is hidden
Waiting to be found
I decided to seek truth
Found unconditional love

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It will take your best thinking
Knowledge is at the center
Honesty to discern truth
Trust to follow Him

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Religion can deceive
Pride can hide the path to love
Lust keeps me at the center
And power can kill
My mind wants to know what’s real
I have the freedom to choose

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Lael Caldwell leads a round table of business people who are committed to helping each other be the best they can be. She asked me to speak about setting the mind each day to live life that is joyful, free and productive in this world. There are five things I do each day to live a life that’s  life giving.  The Name of this group she calls “Define, Align and Achieve.” Reflection on the meaning of Love is the first one. Reading of Hebrew poetry and getting advice from Solomon in Proverbs sets my mind for the day. I would love to hear ways that you set your day that brings life to you and those around you. By the way the fruit of setting my mind each day is I laugh more, cry when appropriate, don’t take myself too seriously and see the beauty in each person I meet. Psalm 4 and Proverbs 4 has some real secrets I have found.  All the best!

You Are His Delight

February 1, 2015

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What’s it take for man to see
A God who delights in him
Who’s smiling with arms outstretched
For those who fear Him

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Fear means one who stands in awe
Of love that’s demonstrated
Love and forgiveness lavished
On those who’ll receive

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Believing is the key
Knowledge is available
For those who will search
Who will hunger for the truth
Who long to know what is real

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God never forsakes
Those who seek with their whole heart
That is a promise
This revelation is true
It has been tried and tested

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“God wants me to see him, be with him and draw my life from His smile.” A. W. Tozer from his book “Pursuit of God.”

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For more read Psalm 31.

Gift of Forgiveness

January 31, 2015

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Looking back I see
The blind spots in my own life
Born of ignorance
Then the intentional wrongs
They can be overwhelming

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The blind spots are important
Learning points to remember
Because they are there I see
The damage I’ve done

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I’m responsible
For the suffering of those
Given to my care
Children, family and friends
I found forgiveness with God

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To face the truth about myself
Is a surprising gift to all
When love becomes the focus
And forgiveness reigns

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I forgive myself
God chose to forgive my sins
My heart was broken
When I saw the price he paid
Incomprehensible love

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I’ve sought forgiveness
From those I know I have hurt
From those I don’t know
I pray God covers us both
With gentleness and mercy

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In stillness I come
I am focused on His love
With no one but God
I draw near seeking His mind
And I discover His heart

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He has favored me
Claimed me as “His Beloved”
This promise given to all
Is sealed with His blood
Established by resurrection
Embraced by trust in His words

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I practiced feeding this truth by reflecting on the words given in the Psalms this morning. Psalm 31, 91 and 121. The judgment of my own heart is so great that if I don’t establish who I trust in the morning I am manipulated by my worldview and the worldview of others who also hide behind the noise in the heart.

Anguish Healed

January 25, 2015

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Overwhelmed with anguish
The pain and loss is so great
Does anyone understand
The devastation

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No friends to comfort
Loses of my dear love ones
Where is God who cares
Why is this happening now
Can anyone answer me

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The cry in the human soul
There are no easy answers
God promises to confide
In those who fear Him

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I cannot fathom
A God who lets this happen
Suffering and grief
What is it I am missing
Do I really want to know

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Truth hurts and it heals
The tragedy in my soul
Comes down to two things
I must face the truth about me
I must face the truth about God

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“Fear” does not mean “Be afraid”
It means I must face greatness
Of the love of God revealed
To my shattered soul

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The consequences
Of the choices I have made
I am destitute
The poverty in my soul
Is hidden from all to see

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The confusion inside me
With the unanswered questions
Were cleared up when I focused
On the love of God

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He promised to never leave
To meet me in my anguish
To forgive me of my wrongs
To renew and restore

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I will trust in Him
Gives victory over death
Carries my burdens

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Insight only comes
After one chooses to trust
The Giver of life

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May you be blessed by the Lord
Maker of heaven and earth
One who understands your need
Gave all to forgive

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These reflections will be enhanced by reading Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Sarah Young, an amazing therapist and teacher, offers insight to the anguished soul in her book “Jesus Calling.” 

One Definition of God

January 22, 2015

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He’s gentle and kind
Like a Mother and Father
All wrapped up in One

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My mother left me
Abandoned her four children
She was very sick

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God knows the trouble
Each of his children will face
He comes seeking you
My challenge is consider
He called himself “Son of “Man”

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Don’t let religion block you
The hypocrisy and lies
The real God loves you dearly
Remember this truth
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This definition of God is out of fifty-four years of seeking to know the mind of God through meditation and reflection on His Story. I have chosen to live in response to the mercy and love revealed through the window of His story in the Bible. God’s gentle hand is on you and is close to hear and respond to your deepest needs.

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The following poem is an excerpt from the book “A Transplanted Soul” by Charlotte B. Smith

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“…..when the Son of Man comes, will he find
faith on the earth.” Luke 18:8

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Let that be me, Lord

one who continues to pray
and doesn’t give up
one who keeps my heart
turned toward you
Help that be me, Lord

 

Let that be my children
and my grandchildren,
my descendants as long
as my line shall last

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Let them be found faithful
to the end,
Oh, Lord, that you will find faith on the earth!

 

This is my prayer, Lord,
that I send up ahead
on their behalf….

1-10-2010

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Hidden Surprise of Joy

January 19, 2015

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There’s a hidden truth
Just like there is hidden sin
I’ve been blind to both of them
One crushes my soul
The other heals all my wounds
Love’s revealed to those seeking

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My eyes were opened
When I discovered the truth
About me and God
Breaking down the barriers
Comes when all is in the light

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His intimate eyes
Are seen by those who revere
Who are in awe of His love
I’ll never give up
Seeking what is real and true
I have been surprised by joy

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In Psalm 19 it speaks of things hidden and things that are plain. In Psalm 33 he speaks of intimacy with those whose hope is in His unfailing love. These two Psalms read slowly and thoughtfully out loud take a person to the inner chamber of the soul. The mysterious place is where God dwells in the heart of everyone. Be still and listen.

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Today is Charlotte’s birthday.   She is the treasured  surprised gift from God  and my deepest and cherished soul mate.  She brings the joy!

Secret Treasure

January 17, 2015

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The exciting truth
It’s a treasure to be found
If you will but ask
With a heart longing to know
With your soul and mind engaged

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We do not know what to ask
Until we get real quiet
That’s when I asked the question
What matters the most

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When I look around
Watch the multitude looking
Bringing their passion
It is all about the “doing”
What is it I want “to do”

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I am blinded by the doing
Confronted by the results
I discovered this secret
“Who am I” is first

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Establish identity
Who are you; why are you here
Answer these questions
Look In the spiritual realm
Consider the unseen first

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I’ll live from the inside out
I don’t have to prove my worth
A human being will do
When they know they count

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Death is not bigger
Circumstances can’t destroy
Forgiveness will rule
Love overflows for yourself
And power to love others

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I know this is true
“Who I am” I hold sacred
A friendship with God
It’s a secret gift of love
It took my best mind to see

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I am Beloved.

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You know, after fifty-four years of seeking, please consider, “YOU ARE BELOVED.” I write these haiku’s each morning reflecting on the past and looking to the future.   Looking both directions I find joy today.  I believe with honest reflection; seeking a knowledge of what is true; being willing to go outside the box of religion; overcome the arrogance of human pride that a person can find their way to real life and meaning. The Hebrew Scriptures particularly Psalms and Proverbs have mothered and fathered me. The real story of Jesus in the Gospels awakened me to a compassionate and gentle love. I make sure I have time to think each day and refuse to be driven by the “ought to” self doing and just take time “to be.” The treasured secret is this: God’s love is seeking you! I could be right!

 

Anchor Point

December 28, 2013

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I will choose an anchor point

A way to look at the world

A way to look at myself

And other people

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There is a fresh spring

Of living water to drink

Each morning I arise with

A thirst for real life

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There is a fresh joy

An intimacy given

To those who seek truth

The transcendent will show up

In surprising ways and times

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Develop the discipline

Trust the process not yourself

Have faith in something bigger

And never give up

Looking for the unseen truths

That give insight to the soul

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I build space, reflecting

I choose the focus of life

That’s a privilege I have

I will trust in someone

The question: “Who will that be?”

I’m responsible for that

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The people were delighted

Seeing the wonderful things

Love demonstrated

For the broken and lonely

For the sick and afflicted

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One man has captured my heart

He told about the mustard seed

That grew into a tall plant

How leaven changed things

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Reflections written after reading Luke 13 out loud, and meditating on the following thoughts.

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“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever present help in trouble.

Therefore I will not fear, though the

the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the

heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with

their surging.”   Psalm 46:1-3

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“Blessed are those who learned to

acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence.”  Psalm 89:15

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Question:  What are some surprising ways the transcendent has showed up for you?

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Who Are the Heroes?

November 12, 2012

On the front page of Newsweek dated, November 12, 2012, the headline is entitled, “The Heroes Issue”.  General Petraeus is recognized for his 12 Rules of  Leadership.  His fifth rule is: “We all make mistakes.  The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear-view mirror-drive and avoid making them again.” 

“Life breaks everyone”

A line that is familiar

But some become strong

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The human heart will judge you

Whether you are religious

Or just believe in yourself

On the twists and turns of life 

You’re wise to seek good counsel

 

The ones who can admit

Tell the truth about themselves

Come out from hiding

Hold themselves accountable

Then arise from the ashes

 

The General Petraeus 

A leader in the country

Told the truth about himself

Then resigned his job

 

Many condemn him

His own heart judges him most

How he handles this 

Will be the test of his life

King David can be of help

 

Power does corrupt

Pride makes one vulnerable

Easily deceived

Lust will dismantle the soul

Greed poisons the human heart

 

A leader has fallen hard

His great opportunity

Is to model now a way

To be forgiven

 

One way to escape

The deep judgment of your heart

Meet one that’s greater

Who knows your story so well

Who loves you like his own son 

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General Petraeus, your story is not over.  God meets you with the same compassion he met David the King, the “woman at the well”, “the Centurion”, “the thief on the cross” and me.  I pray mercy reigns for you, your wife and your children.  Let the world see now, how a leader rises by the grace of God.

Ernest Hemingway stated: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up to us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”Romans 8:32, Psalm 51